Brick Presbyterian Church (New York City)

The Brick Presbyterian Church is a large congregation at Park Avenue and 91st Street on the Upper East Side of Manhattan in New York City. A congregation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it is known for its Day School and music programs. It was founded as an offshoot of First Presbyterian Church. Its first building, in Lower Manhattan, opened in 1768.[2] The Park Avenue location opened April 14, 1940.[3]

The Brick Presbyterian Church
LocationNew York City, New York
CountryUnited States
DenominationPresbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
FoundedJune 28, 1808 (1808-06-28)
ConsecratedJanuary 1, 1768
Functional statusActive
SynodSynod of the Northeast
PresbyteryPresbytery of New York
Minister(s)The Rev. Dr. Thomas Evans, Senior Minister
The Rev. Adam D. Gorman, Associate Minister
The Rev. Michael L. Lindvall, Pastor Emeritus[1]

History edit

The first church building was built and designed by architect John McComb, Sr.[4] on the corner of Beekman and Nassau Streets. It opened doors on New Year's Day in 1768.[2] During the American Revolutionary War, the British used the church to house prisoners of war.[5] When the congregation moved uptown, the New-York Daily Times used the site for its new headquarters, a dedicated five-story building.[6]

In 1858, the congregation moved to a new building on Murray Hill at 37th Street and Fifth Avenue since its congregation had moved farther uptown. The dedication was on October 31.[7][8]

On April 23, 1910, Mark Twain's funeral was held at the church and the Rev. Henry van Dyke Jr. officiated.[9]

By the late 1930s, the congregation had decided to move yet farther north. The building at Fifth and 37th was sold and demolished in 1938.[10] The church merged with Park Avenue Presbyterian Church in 1937 and the joint congregation built the 91st St. location. The church also acquired a residence on East 92nd St. to turn it into a Parish House.[11]

The cornerstone to the current building was laid on November 25, 1938, in the presence of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia.[12][10] The congregation first worshipped on 91st Street on April 14, 1940. The New York Times described the building as "a model of a colonial house of worship, is red brick with white trimmings and huge circular white pillars at the front."[3]

Following the end of WWII, Mrs. Stephen C. Clark and some of her friends who had also lost sons and daughters in that war installed lighted trees along Park Avenue as a memorial not only to their children but to those from throughout the city who had given their lives. These trees were first lighted on Dec. 17, 1945, and dedicated to the memory of those who had died in all of our country's wars. Subsequently, they became known as the Park Avenue Memorial Trees. Every year since a ceremony involving caroling and the tree lighting takes place on the first Sunday in December on the Park Avenue steps of Brick Church.[13][14]

Brick Church School edit

The Brick Church School has early childhood programs and was founded in 1940. Dr. Lydia Spinelli served as Director from 1983 to 2019, followed by Amy Warden from 2019 to 2022. Marie Fabian became the Director of the school in December 2022. Members of the church are given preference in the competitive application process.[15][16]

Music edit

Dr. Raymond Nagem has been the Minister of Music at The Brick Church since September 2021. He leads the church's acclaimed professional choir.[17]

The sanctuary has a French Symphonic style organ with 6,288 pipes built by Casavant Frères of Quebec. The organ was dedicated with a recital by Dutch master Ben van Oosten in the fall of 2005,[18] and was designed in the style of Aristide Cavaillé-Coll, a 19th-century organ maker. Jean-Louis Coignet was a consultant in the project. Coignet had been a Parisian government employee who was in charge of the city’s organs.[19][20][21] There is a two manual, 26 rank mechanical action by Guilbault-Thérien in the Chapel of the Reformed Faith. This organ was installed in 1996 and is fashioned after French choir organs of the mid-19th century.

Notable members edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Brick Presbyterian Church Staff". Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  2. ^ a b Miller, Samuel (1840). Memoir of the Rev. John Rodgers, D.D. late pastor of the Wall street and Brick churches, in the city of New York, Abridged from the original 1813 edition. Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication.
  3. ^ a b M'Dowell, Rachel K. (April 13, 1940). "New Brick Church Opens Tomorrow – Three Services in Dedication to Mark First Use of the Park Ave. Building – St. George Communion – Protestant Police Group Will Attend Breakfast Later — Mission Meeting Monday" (PDF). The New York Times. p. 14. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  4. ^ "March 2017". Brick Church. September 27, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  5. ^ Wright, Otis Olney, ed. (1917). History of Swansea, Massachusetts, 1667-1917. Town of Swansea. p. 54. OCLC 1018149266. Retrieved June 13, 2018.
  6. ^ Dunlap, David W. (November 14, 2001). "150th Anniversary: 1851-2001; Six Buildings That Share One Story". The New York Times. p. H55. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  7. ^ "City Items. The New "Brick Church"". The New York Times. September 30, 1858. p. 4. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  8. ^ Knapp, Shepherd (1909). A history of the Brick Presbyterian church in the city of New York. New York: Trustees of the Brick Presbyterian church. pp. 277–292.
  9. ^ "Last Glimpse here of Mark Twain". The New York Times. April 24, 1910. p. 3. Retrieved September 16, 2018.
  10. ^ a b McDowell, Rachel K. (November 19, 1938). "New Brick Church Plans Ceremony – Cornerstone Will Be Laid on Friday at Park Avenue and Ninety-first Street – University To Be Aided – Catholics to Make Collection — Testimonial for Rabbi Henry A. Schorr". The New York Times. p. 20. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  11. ^ "Church Dedication Is Set for April 14 – New Brick Presbyterian at Park Ave. and 91st St. Is Nearing Completion" (PDF). The New York Times. March 11, 1940. p. 12. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  12. ^ "Mayor Lays Stone for a New Church – Officiates With Clergymen at Ceremonies for the Brick Presbyterian – Intolerance is Scored – La Guardia Marks Contrast Between Building Here and the Destruction Abroad" (PDF). The New York Times. November 26, 1938. p. 13. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  13. ^ "72nd Annual Park Avenue Tree Lighting Draws a Crowd (Photos)". December 4, 2016.
  14. ^ "Best Christmas Trees to See in NYC".
  15. ^ Goldman, Victoria (January 12, 2003). "The Babie Ivies". The New York Times. p. A4. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  16. ^ "The Brick Church School History". Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  17. ^ "Brick Church Ministry of Music". Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  18. ^ "Brick Presbyterian Church - New York City". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  19. ^ Shulman, Robin (July 24, 2005). "Resurrecting Strains of the Past, Lovingly, Pipe by Pipe". The New York Times. p. A28. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  20. ^ Ambrosino, Jon (May–June 2006). "Significant accomplishment" (PDF). Choir & Organ. Retrieved July 31, 2013.
  21. ^ "Cover Feature" (PDF). The American Organist. March 2006.
  22. ^ "The Legacy Project: James W.B. Benkard '63". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  23. ^ "IN MEMORIAM: James W.B. Benkard –". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  24. ^ a b "Bagpipe Tunes at Carnegie Wedding – Charm of Bonnie Scotland Lent to Miss Margaret's Nuptial with Ensign Miller – Heiress in Floral Bower – Simple Ceremony In Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Carnegie's Home, with Less Than 100 Guests". The New York Times. April 23, 1919. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  25. ^ Couric, Katie (November 20, 2006). "Katie: The Importance of Faith...And Doubt". CBS News.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  26. ^ "Dulles Attends Brick Church Service" (PDF). The New York Times. June 18, 1956. Retrieved July 30, 2013.
  27. ^ "FAME GAINED; LOVE LOST.; Husband of Mrs. Agnes G. Kimball Seeks Divorce from Singer". The New York Times. January 11, 1913. p. 1.
  28. ^ "Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Democrat". June 29, 2016.
  29. ^ "John McComb: Old New York Architect – Green-Wood". Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  30. ^ "WATSON FUNERAL ATTENDED BY 1,200; Overflow Crowd at Brick Church Hears Tribute to I.B.M. Industrialist 'Singleness of Mind' 42 Honorary Pallbearers". The New York Times. June 22, 1956. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 5, 2022.
  31. ^ "March 2017". Brick Church. September 27, 2018. Retrieved April 5, 2022.

External links edit

40°47′03″N 73°57′19″W / 40.784205°N 73.955139°W / 40.784205; -73.955139